Boise Dentists Blog

At Summit Dental, we love sharing our everyday life. Sometimes we'll post about tips on brushing your teeth or about how much we love our new office. Check back often to see what the latest is at our Boise Dentist Office.

Boise Dentists: Walking Through a Kids Appointment

Boise Dentists: Walking Through a Kids Appointment

At Summit Dental, our Boise dentists do their best to make sure that all of our patients, especially kids, have a relaxing and comfortable appointment. Take a look at how we keep the experience fun and comfortable for kids from their time in the waiting room to when they walk out of our office doors.

In the waiting room

The waiting room at our new Boise office has an entire kids area for families to relax in. Puzzles, toys, and books are just a few of the things kids can play with in the room, or they can tune into the flat screen television that plays children’s programs, Pixar movies, and other kid-friendly content. This room has a soft kid-friendly rubbery floor and brightly colored paintings along the walls to create a fun environment.

During the appointment

If the appointment is for a child between three and five years old (we recommend a first appointment at age three), the appointment is usually just a happy visit where we check their teeth and help them get acquainted with the office. The child can sit on their parent’s lap or by themselves, whichever is easiest.

Parents are always welcome back to the treatment rooms with their children, whatever their age. For some procedures, the experience may be better if parents wait in the waiting room, as the child may be less distracted, and it allows us to phrase things properly and use our “show, tell, do” philosophy. However, parents are always given the option to come back to the treatment rooms with their child if they feel it would be best.

Regardless what the appointment is for, our Boise dentists always use a “show, tell, do” philosophy with every procedure. This involves using kid-friendly terms while explaining and then showing what we will do before we do it. For example, when using the water sprayer or air sprayer, we will call it “rain” or “wind,” in addition to calling the suction that draws out the water the “big straw.”

For cavity fillings, we often use nitrous oxide or laughing gas for children as it helps them relax. To do this, we use a nose piece which we call their “silly nose.” The nose piece is flavored like cherries or strawberries, so we ask them if they can smell the cherries. This is another procedure where we use kid-friendly language, such as calling a cavity a “sugar bug” and referring to part of the filling procedure as “painting the tooth.” We sometimes offer different colored filling material in blue, green or orange so kids can choose their favorite color or school color.

We maintain the “show, tell, do” philosophy with our other tools as well. We call the drill a “water sprayer” and let kids feel the spray of water on their hands. When numbing a child’s mouth, we never use the word “needle,” and we do our best to hide the needle before getting them numb. We call it “sleepy juice” that is going to make their tooth feel sleepy or silly, and we call the poke they may feel a “mosquito bite.” We are almost always able to get their mouth numb without them seeing the needle or feeling much discomfort. Usually the one thing that can interrupt this process is if another family member or sibling is in the room and says something that will give the child anxiety.

The end of the appointment

After any filling, cleaning, or procedure, if the child is well behaved, they will get to pick out a prize from the treasure chest, get a coupon for a TCBY kids frozen yogurt, or receive a toothbrush and toothpaste, or perhaps all three! If the child doesn’t have any cavities, they are entered in the Cavity Free Kids Club, which has a monthly drawing for a prize and movie tickets. This monthly Cavity Free Super Star Winner is given balloons, movie tickets, and a prize in addition to getting mentioned on our Facebook page and blog. After every appointment, we generally call to follow up and make sure everything is feeling okay.

In the end, our main goal during a child’s appointment is to make the whole experience fun every step of the way, from waiting room to back in the treatment rooms. We choose the words that reflect this and then offer kids a “prize” at the end to reward the experience. We would love to talk to you about how we provide the best dental care for your children, so leave us a comment or stop by our Boise office.
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Boise Cosmetic Dental Work: How We Personalize the Process of Cosmetic Dental Work

Boise Cosmetic Dental Work: How We Personalize the Process of Cosmetic Dental Work

We do more than just give you a porcelain dental crown and veneers. We do a thorough job of discovering what you want and what will look and work best with your smile. From our ceramists to our hygienists we aim to make you feel comfortable and to give you your best smile. Wondering how we do it? Here is a typical appointment schedule for getting crowns or veneers:

Initial Cosmetic Dentistry appointment.

If you are considering cosmetic dental work such as a dental crown or veneers, we will do some information gathering during the initial appointment.  Our Boise dentists will take impressions of your teeth to send to the lab, where they will do a “mock up” in wax so we can show you what to expect as far as the shape and contour of your teeth. This will ensure that we are both happy with the direction of the case before we start.  During this appointment we also examine your facial profile and lip line as well as the smile at rest and full smile.  We generally take a few pictures for before-and-after comparison.

 Second Cosmetic Dentistry appointment.

The next appointment is the actual preparation of your teeth to receive the crown or veneer.  Thanks to the cutting edge ceramic materials we use these days, the changes we make for both crowns and veneers are minimal.  You also don’t need to worry about how your smile will look between this appointment and the placement of the permanent dental crown or veneers because we will give you provisional or “temporary” crowns or veneers.

At the end of this appointment we take an impression of your teeth to send to Ralph or Jack, our two favorite ceramists who both operate in Boise and the Treasure Valley area. They will create the dental crown or veneers according to the contours and shape we had in the original mock up. They will know the shade to make the veneers and crowns by looking at the picture we provide, or by having you go meet them personally for a custom shade appointment.

Why do we use a local lab? It gives us the option to send you over to their lab for a personal look at your teeth so Ralph and Jack can do their best job in matching the shade, color, shape, and natural anatomy of your teeth. Every person has subtle characteristics that give them their unique smile, so these are best matched in person with a highly experienced and talented ceramist. Secondly, because we are able to work so closely with Ralph and Jack we can get the highest quality, something that would be more difficult to achieve if we used an overseas company. Finally, using a local lab means we are keeping the business here locally, supporting the local Boise economy.

Third Cosmetic Dentistry Appointment.

This is the appointment where we try-in the permanent veneers or crowns to make sure both of us are completely satisfied with the result in all aspects.  If any minor changes are needed either in color, shape or contour, our Boise dentists will accomplish this prior to cementing the final veneers or crowns.  We have you evaluate your new smile in the mirror, and on some occasions we have a spouse or a friend view them as well to make sure you are completely happy with your new teeth.  If you are, we proceed to cementing the veneer or crown on permanently with a specialized cement designed to bond to both the natural tooth structure and ceramic material. We also like to take some photographs of the final result of your beautiful smile!

We do our best to accomplish most of the work on the front end of this process to ensure you are happy with the final product and have a long lasting and high quality veneer or crown.  After the dental crown or veneers are in place, you can help maintain the quality and health of these and your other teeth by following the same protocol as you would with your natural teeth: brushing twice a day, regularly flossing and keeping regular hygiene appointments. These regular check-ups help maintain the integrity of the restorations, as well as help catch any potential issues as soon as possible.

We love giving you the smile restoration you want through our thorough and personal cosmetic dental work process. Have more questions on the process? Stop by our Boise dental office or leave a comment below!

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Your First Cosmetic Dental Appointment with Summit Boise Dentists

Your First Cosmetic Dental Appointment with Summit Boise Dentists
Worried about your first cosmetic dental appointment? Put your fears aside with this quick overview of your appointment at our Boise dental office. Your first appointment generally has three parts: expectations, evaluation, and consultation.

Expectations

You can help us give you the best care by preparing for your appointment before you even arrive at our Boise dentist office. One of the first things we want to know when you head into your appointment is what expectations you have, so come to our office prepared to let us know what you are looking for and what concerns you have. Consider if you looking to fix a distinct problem, or if you want some general ideas on how to improve your whole smile.
If you want any changes completed by a certain date, now is the time to tell us (for example, many people come in for changes before an important day like graduation or their wedding). We will do our best to accommodate you!

Evaluation

If you are a new patient, we will give you a comprehensive new patient exam. This will help us understand if there are any underlying problems we need to address before deciding on a cosmetic procedure.
During a comprehensive exam, we will check for oral cancer, cavities, and evidence of periodontal disease or teeth grinding or clenching. We will also take x-rays to look for tooth decay, bone loss, and other major problems. Our goal is to give you a healthy and functional smile in addition to a beautiful smile. By addressing all the issues you have, not just cosmetic issues, we can save you time, money, and discomfort.

Consultation

Once we fully understand what you want and what needs to be done, we will discuss the various options you have for a smile restoration or other procedure. Some of the procedures we may discuss include teeth whitening, ceramic crowns and porcelain veneers. If you need some teeth to be replaced, we can discuss the difference between a dental implant and a bridge. If you are looking for a full smile restoration, we will probably recommend a blend of these procedures, covering some teeth with veneers or crowns while whitening others and possibly replacing missing or severely damaged teeth.
In addition to giving you the smile you are looking for, we will also mention any other problems you may want to address. This could include getting a mouth guard to prevent further damage to your teeth from grinding or clenching, or it could mean starting some periodontal treatments for periodontitis.
We want to make every patient in the Treasure Valley area feel comfortable and confident during their appointments in our Boise dentist office. We hope that this overview helped give you a better idea of what to expect when you walk through our doors.
Do you still have a few questions about setting up an appointment or about cosmetic dentistry? Call our Boise office or drop a note in the comments below!
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Flynn Davis is our March Cavity Free Super Star Winner!

Flynn Davis is our March Cavity Free Super Star Winner!

Congratulations to Flynn Davis for being our March Cavity Free Super Star Winner! Flynn, at only eight years old, is our very special winner for taking such good care of his teeth and therefore not having any cavities at his dental check-up. Keep up the great work!

All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join the Summit Dental Cavity Free Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking care of their teeth and gums at home!

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Boise Dentists: What are Dental Implants?

Boise Dentists: What are Dental Implants?
Missing a tooth and wondering about dental implants? A dental implant is a highly recommended procedure for replacing teeth and improving a smile. For this procedure, our Boise dentists place a post into the jawbone as a replacement for the tooth’s root, and then permanently attach a crown to this post as a replacement for the tooth.

 

Obviously, if you have missing front teeth, you want to replace them with fake teeth for a complete smile. But there are other reasons for choosing dental implants. When you lose a tooth, your teeth will move to cover the gap of a missing tooth, creating worse gaps. More importantly, the jawbone will also begin to atrophy, making the surrounding teeth weaker and more likely to fall out. This also means you should get your dental implant in sooner rather than later because the jawbone can  in some cases become too weak to even support the implant without a bone graph.

 

A dental implant will replace all elements of a missing tooth, not just the aesthetics. The post will strengthen the jawbone and surrounding teeth just like a real tooth would, and the attached crown will keep other teeth in place.

 

The Procedure

If you are wondering how long it takes to get a dental implant, here is a brief description of the four appointments it usually requires.

 

First appointment. During this appointment we insure that your teeth are in the proper place for implants, and that you are a good candidate for the procedure.

 

Second appointment. Our Boise dentists place the post of the implant in the jawbone. It will take four to six months to allow the bone to heal around the post. During this time you may wear a temporary crown on a flipper or retainer.

 

Third appointment. We take an impression of the area for the new crown. This is also the time when we match the color of the crown to the color of your teeth.
  • Note: If you want to whiten your teeth, you should either do so before this appointment or plan on getting a lighter shade, as the crown will not change color with whitening.

Fourth appointment. We attach the new crown to the post and cement it into place. Dental implants usually last your lifetime, so you shouldn’t need to worry about it again!

The Benefits

Maintain a Beautiful Smile. Implants offer more than just a complete set of teeth—any retainer or flipper could do that; implants also strengthen your jawbone so that your features keep their shape (otherwise, the missing tooth and root can cause your face to “fall”). So getting dental implants can give your whole face a more youthful appearance!

 

Regain Chewing Ability. Dental implants can take just as much abuse as regular teeth. Not only can you use your whole mouth for eating, the replaced tooth will reduce the strain put on your other teeth.

 

Protect Your Surrounding Teeth. With a post to strengthen your jawbone, your surrounding teeth will stay strong as well and will not be able to turn or become crowded.

 

If you need dental implants, the sooner you get them the better. We would love to set up a consultation at our Boise office, or feel free to leave a question in the comments!
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How Can Boise Dentists Restore Your Smile?

How Can Boise Dentists Restore Your Smile?
Restoring a smile depends heavily on what you want or need. Do you have missing teeth? Decayed or chipped teeth? Do you simply want whiter teeth? All these factors play into what kind of procedures the Boise dentists at Summit Dental will use.

 

Veneers and Crowns

The most common procedures for smile restorations are porcelain veneers and crowns. While made of the same material and resulting in the same effect (white, smooth teeth), veneers and crowns each have their own uses. Veneers are thin layers of porcelain that can change the shade and shaping of a tooth that is discolored or chipped, in addition to smoothing out spacing issues such as crowded teeth or excess spacing. They work well when replacing old fillings and are best used on teeth that have a sound structure. If your teeth are structurally sound or the veneers are strictly for cosmetic purposes, veneers could be your best option.

 

If your teeth are significantly worn down or need more protection, you may need to consider a porcelain crown instead. A crown is a covering for a tooth that improves strength as well as appearance.  They can restore a broken or worn down tooth, mask flaws in color and shape, and strengthen a tooth that was composed of more filling than tooth structure. Crowns are a good fit for teeth that are significantly decayed or that don’t have as much healthy teeth structure.

 

Implants and Bridges

Need a smile restoration for missing teeth? Implants and bridges are reliable replacements for missing teeth that will give you what feels and looks like a real tooth. When you have lost a tooth, replacing it with an implant can prevent jawbone deterioration and further tooth loss in addition to giving you a great smile. The post placed in your jawbone acts as the tooth’s root, keeping the jawbone strong. The crown attached to this post keeps the surrounding teeth in the right place, gives you a strong tooth for eating and chewing, and completes your smile with a tooth that is identical in shape and color with your other teeth. If you already have an implant but want an even further restored smile, replacing this crown in addition to adding porcelain veneers or crowns to your other teeth is an excellent way to get your ideal smile.

 

Each of your teeth may be unique; some may be worn down, others simply discolored, and so on. For the best smile restoration, our Boise dentists can use a combination of veneers, crowns, and implants to give you your most winning smile. In addition, while some of your teeth may need a porcelain veneer or crown, some may only require a little teeth whitening. Check out our previous blog on teeth whitening for more information on these procedures.

 

Have more questions about smile restoration? Stop by our Boise dentist office for a consultation, or leave us a comment or question below.
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Teeth Whitening: Advice from Boise Dentists

Teeth Whitening: Advice from Boise Dentists

Everyone wants a bright and healthy smile, but it can be difficult to find tips for whitening your teeth both in the clinic and at home. Look at the tips and information below to understand how you can give yourself a bright smile.

Teeth Whitening Products

When you want whiter teeth Summit Dental in Boise offers in-office whitening and custom take-home whitening trays, as well as professional strength Crest White Strips. The custom take-home trays are our most popular teeth whitening product as they are easy to use and generally the most cost effective way to whiten teeth.

If the discoloration of your teeth is severe or unresponsive to whitening procedures, all-porcelain veneers are another popular choice. These will not only whiten teeth, but can also improve the shape and contour of your teeth for a restored smile.

When to Whiten

It generally takes three to four weeks to achieve the desired level of whiteness with the take-home whitening trays. After this initial time, you only need to touch up your teeth by using the whitening trays once or twice a month, sometimes less.

If you are looking to whiten your teeth for a special occasion, you should begin the whitening process about three to four weeks before the event, using the trays three or four times per week. If you plan on using the trays less than that every week, you may need to begin sooner.

Other Tips and Tricks

When beginning the whitening process, you should avoid or keep in moderation the foods and drinks that can stain teeth. This includes wine, coffee, darker teas, chewing tobacco, and smoking. Don’t think you can let go of your morning coffee? Weaker coffee will stain less, especially if it has milk in it. Most importantly, however, is brushing your teeth or at least swishing with water after every meal, and especially after you use the substances mentioned above that can stain your teeth.

Of course, good dental hygiene will keep your teeth looking their best. Regularly brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, and remember to schedule cleaning appointments with the Boise dentists here at Summit Dental every six months. With good dental hygiene and regular dentist appointments, you can help minimize or even prevent stain and tarter build up on your teeth for your brightest smile.

Have more questions on how to whiten your teeth? Leave a comment or stop by our Boise office!

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Boise Dentistry: What Is Cosmetic Dental Work?

Ever wondered what exactly “cosmetic dentistry” means? You may be surprised to find out that it means more than teeth whitening. Not only does cosmetic dentistry improve the appearance of a person’s teeth, it can also correct functional problems with your bite or teeth structure. It covers a wide range of procedures that can eliminate problems with chips, cracks, cavities, and missing teeth. Three common procedures that you can find at Summit Dental in Boise include smile restorations, dental implants, and composite fillings.

Smile restorations. 

Smile makeovers and restorations can include a wide variety of procedures. The dentist will look at your smile and suggest the procedures that will give you the best result. This can include teeth whitening in addition to porcelain veneers and crowns. Teeth whitening can either be done in the office in a single appointment or at home with a customized whitening kit. Porcelain veneers are laid on the surface of teeth to eliminate chips, cracks, or discoloration. Porcelain crowns offer similar results while covering the entire tooth.

Dental implants. 

Implants are used to replace missing teeth. They generally involve the post, which is attached to the jawbone, and the crown, which is attached to the post so that the patient has a new permanent “tooth” in both appearance and functionality. With color matching, the porcelain crowns for implants and smile makeovers can match your own teeth so exactly that they naturally blend into your smile for a unified look.

Composite fillings. 

Colored, no-metal fillings are an excellent replacement for worn-out or decayed metal fillings. Not only do they match the color of your teeth, they will also stay more resistant to staining and discoloration. When you have a cavity or other problem on a visible part of your smile, composite fillings give you the protection you need while maintaining a great smile. Composite fillings are also a great alternative to other fillings due to their strength.
Think you might need a smile makeover, or have questions about composite fillings or implants? We would love to hear from you! Give us a call or stop by our Boise office.
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Nathan Knoeller is our February Cavity Free Superstar Winner!

Nathan Knoeller is our Cavity Free Superstar Winner this Month! Congrats Nathan! This award is not easily earned. Nathan is very responsible in taking care of his teeth, and Nathan had no cavities during his appointments. Keep up the great work. We are proud of you, now go enjoy those movie passes!

The Summit Dental Super Star Cavity Free Program was created to recognize and reward those special patients who demonstrate excellent home care in between dental visits and therefore have no cavities when they come in for their dental check-up.

All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join Summit Dental Cavity Free Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking care of their teeth and gums at home!

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December’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner

December’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner

Congratulations to Yale Spoja for being our December Cavity Free Super Star Winner! The Summit Dental Super Star Cavity Free Program was created to recognize those special patients who demonstrate excellent home care in between dental visits and therefore have no cavities when they come in for their dental check-up. Yale is only 10 years old, but she demonstrates responsibility way beyond her years when it comes to taking care of her teeth!

All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join Summit Dental Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking care of their teeth and gums at home!

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